Ethical Space 8 (1) (2011)

David M. Shaw
University of Basel
It is highly probable that you have fallen victim to a spoiler at some point in your life. Perhaps you heard what the twist was in The Sixth Sensei before you saw it, or perhaps you have come across one of the now near-ubiquitous references in the media to Keyzer Soze, and thus had much of your enjoyment of The Usual Suspectsii ruined. Put simply, a spoiler is a piece of information that spoils your enjoyment of a film, usually by revealing a key plot detail. This paper argues that those working in the media and the public at large have an ethical obligation to avoid communicating spoilers if at all possible. Although this might seem like an unimportant moral issue (or not a moral issue at all) it transpires {SPOILER ALERT} that spoilers, particularly of the media variety, can have a significant cumulative antiutilitarian effect. This paper will feature less examples than is typical of a philosophical work, because the author wishes to avoid any spoilers.
Keywords Ethics  Spoilers  Media
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